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Chapter 416 - Terrorists
Tang Wulin was a good-looking boy. He had large sparkling eyes that roused the maternal instincts of the conductor. Shrek Academy is just awful! I can't believe they would force a child like him through so much hardship.
"Don't worry! This big sis will help you out," the conductor said. "You need to visit ten cities right? Hm… How can I help you? There's nothing I can do about finding opponents for you, but I do know that the security captains for train stations are all soul masters with mechas. The thing is just that their strengths vary. Hmm. The captain at Heaven Dou City's train station should meet your criteria. Do you really have to fight him though? He's an adult, and he's really strong."
Tang Wulin's eyes lit up. If he could battle a suitable opponent as soon as he reached the train station, he would be able to save a lot of time!
"Alright! Sounds great! Please help me with that then, Big Sister!" He sighed in his heart. He was lucky to meet such a kindhearted person He had begun calling her 'Big Sister' to act cute. Only in the end did he truly mean it.
"Xiaohu, please go get some food for this little brother while I step out for a moment. He's just so pitiful. He wasn't even allowed to eat breakfast."
Tang Wulin restrained his appetite in order to avoid scaring the conductor, but even so, he ate enough food to feed five people.
The smell of food… It's… Tang Wulin lamented his weak willpower. However, the train only carried so much food on it.
"Wulin, I've already made the arrangements. The security captain at Heaven Dou City's train station will be waiting for you. After you finish your battle, I'll help you get a monthly train pass. With that pass, you'll be able to ride any train on the continent. And here. Take this money. You can use it to feed yourself during your journey."
The conductor had only stepped out for a moment, yet she had already taken care of everything. It was clear that she had risen to the rank of a conductor through her own merit.
When Tang Wulin received twenty thousand credits from her, his heart burst with warmth.
She's so kind!
At that moment, the communicator in the cabin crackled to life. "Conductor! Conductor! Please come to the fifth carriage immediately! Terrorists have hijacked it! Please hurry!"
A hijacking? The conductor looked dazed. Damn it! This is a disaster!
A few months ago, another hijacking had occurred in the western part of the continent. That incident resulted in the train exploding. Over five hundred casualties had been recorded. It was a tragedy that rocked the entire continent.
The conductor went deathly pale, yet she quickly regained her wits and spoke into the mic. "Attention all train attendants! Attention all train attendants! This is your conductor speaking. We have an emergency. Anyone with a weapon should head to the fifth carriage. Remain calm and do not alarm the passengers. Try to mitigate the disturbance."
She rushed into her room and pulled out a key. She then opened a safe and took out a soul pistol.
"Wait here, Wulin. Don't go in that direction." After warning Tang Wulin, she ran out. Tang Wulin caught a glimpse of her face as she left. He could see the conviction blazing in her eyes.
The conductor was determined. She would do everything she could to protect the lives of the people on her train.
Tang Wulin called out to her as he ran to catch up. "Big Sis! I'm going with you."
"You? No way. You're just a child! What if you get hurt? What would I tell your parents?" the conductor came to a stop and pushed him back.
Tang Wulin smiled. "Big Sis, have you already forgotten? I'm a Shrek Academy student! And a three-ringed Soul Elder! Trust me! I can help you deal with them."
The conductor hesitated for a moment when she recalled this fact, but in the end, she shook her head. "Wulin, listen to me. I know you're a soul master, but the security captain on the train is too. Let us grown-ups handle this. You're still a kid. You have a bright future ahead of you. Just stay here and be safe. If it really does get too dangerous, then I'll have the eleven rear carriages disconnect from the rest of the train. Just be good and stay put!" She pushed Tang Wulin back into the room, locked the door behind her, then ran off.
Tang Wulin bit his lip as he watched her leave. There are terrorists!
After leaving the operations carriage, the conductor slowed down to a walk and hid her gun in her pocket. She didn't want to alarm the other passengers yet. She had to minimize the panic as much as possible. She plugged a pair of earphones into her communicator and put them on. Turning to the side slightly, she whispered into the mic. "I'm almost there. What's the situation?"
"There are six terrorists in total, Conductor. They're heavily armed. They somehow managed to smuggle beam guns onto the train. Four of them are armed with beam assault rifles and one is armed with a soul cannon. They've already planted soul bombs all over the carriage. It could blow up at any moment. We have ten staff members in position and engaged in a standoff with the terrorists. But they're better armed than we are."
What the hell are those safety screenings for? They actually missed a load of bombs! The conductor took a deep breath. She cursed within her heart. This is a serious issue. These terrorists have bombs and heavy weapons. We're on a high-speed train right now, and there aren't any stops before Heaven Dou City. We can't let a firefight break out here.
The conductor promptly came to a decision. "Tell the operators to immediately cut off the sixth to sixteenth carriages after I enter the fifth. Are we able to contact headquarters?"
"Yes, we've already sent a message. Conductor, you…"
"Shut it. Just carry out my orders." The conductor looked forward, facing the direction of the fifth carriage. Once the eleven rear carriages were separated from the rest of the train, there would be no path of retreat. She would share the fate of the remaining passengers and staff. They would either live or die.
Yet this was all she could do. She had made her decision and now it was time to follow through. She had to minimize losses. At the very least, the terrorists wouldn't be able to destroy the entire train.
The situation in the carriages beyond the fifth one was unclear. All attempts to communicate with them resulted in radio silence. The terrorists had already blocked them off. She had to handle them personally.
As she walked forward, she took out her wallet and opened it. Inside of it was a picture of a cute, chubby baby. It looked to be only a few months old. Tears welled in her eyes as she took the picture out, brought it to her lips, and kissed it. "Mommy's so sorry for this, my baby..." Then she tucked it back into her wallet and put her wallet away.
She wiped away her tears and picked up the pace.
The passengers in the sixth carriage had been evacuated to the seventh. A dozen or so armed staff members stood to the sides of the door to the fifth carriage. They were in a standoff against the terrorists.
The only weapons the train held in case of emergencies were beam pistols. They weren't particularly powerful.
"What's the situation?" the conductor asked the security captain as she approached.
The captain wore a grave expression. "It isn't good. They've taken passengers as hostages. The carriages in the front are probably under their complete control as well. They've already installed bombs all over the train and a countdown has started."
The conductor took a deep breath. She had to remain calm right now. Terrifying as the situation may be, as the conductor, she had no other choice but to handle it.
She took a few steps forward and shouted into the fifth carriage. "Please don't act impulsively! We can negotiate. Do you have any demands? I'll do my best to fulfill your them, but please don't harm the hostages!"
The fact that they could smuggle so much weaponry onto the train showed that they weren't any ordinary terrorists. Neither surrender nor threats would be effective in dealing with such people. Her best option was to delay for time and hope for help.
"No need for bullshit!" a voice replied. "You're the conductor, right? Our demands are very simple. Tell the Federal government to safely release the people they arrested twenty days ago. If they do that, I'll release these hostages. I know you can cut off the carriages in the rear, but let me warn you: the first five carriages have already been rigged with bombs. I'm sure you know how many passengers are here. You don't have much time. The bombs are set to detonate in thirty minutes. If you can't fulfill our demands in thirty minutes… hehe. Looks like you'll be buried along with everyone else."
The conductor's heart thumped. Twenty days ago? Who did the Federal government arrest twenty days ago? There wasn't any news about that. These demands confused her, but she was certain these terrorists wouldn't make impossible demands.